Helen Stuart is an experienced Mediator based in our Family Team. She is able to undertake all types of Family Mediation including the resolution of children's arrangements on separation and financial settlements on separation, divorce or the breakdown of relationships.
Helen is also able to offer information sessions about all forms of dispute resolution (MIAMs) which are particularly helpful if you are unsure about the different processes available on separation or are considering taking court action when attendance at a MIAMs will often be required in advance of court proceedings.
Based in Ipswich Helen has undertaken Mediation with couples from around Suffolk and North Essex. Out offices have client parking available without charge in the centre of Ipswich.
What is Mediation?
In recent years there has been an increasing recognition of the emotional and financial costs of legal disputes that result in Court Proceedings and alternative methods of resolving disputes, including Mediation have been promoted by the Courts and Government.
Mediation is undertaken by a Mediator who does not act for either party and, therefore, has not, and will not, “take sides”. Mediation is a voluntary process and, despite encouragement from the Courts, no-one can be forced to enter into mediation.
With private individuals a Mediator would usually talk to each person separately to explain the process, this is commonly called an “intake session”. Then both attend joint sessions. The meeting is structured and the process controlled by the Mediator to enable both to express their views to each other and to make progress. There is benefit in avoiding the delay of Solicitors’ letters going back and forth. Also hearing the other side express how they feel can often lead to a greater understanding of why an issue is particularly important to them.
The Mediator’s role is to guide the process to enable positive discussions, to ensure an equal participation so that one party does not dominate, and to move to a fair outcome that both can live with.
Why is Mediation a better option than Court Proceedings?
The Court process will often be seen as producing winners and losers. Sometimes both parties can be unhappy with the outcome and feel that they have both lost. The benefit of mediation is the ability to obtain an outcome that is acceptable to both, where both have contributed the process and are not subject to the whims of a particular Judge on a particular day at Court. As a result the two parties are far more likely to be able to communicate in the future or at least to be able to walk away from the dispute process feeling that they have had some control over the outcome.
How we can help
Helen Stuart, Solicitor in our Family Department is a Mediator trained by Resolution. Contact Helen to discuss the benefits of mediation and how to start the process.